Premier League: Manchester City End Chelsea’s Unbeaten Run As Manchester United Pay Penalty

Manchester Cuity

Manchester City finally broke their losing streak against Chelsea on Saturday, defeating the European champions 1-0, while Manchester United were stunned by Aston Villa after Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp chance. Pep Guardiola’s side won thanks to Gabriel Jesus’ second-half goal, as they avenged three successive defeats by Chelsea, the most recent of which came in last season’s Champions League final. The victory moved the reigning champions into a tie for third place with Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester United, who lost a late goal to Villa defender Kortney Hause before suffering the pain of missing a penalty kick.

Guardiola claimed this week that his team lacked a “weapon” to compete with Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the box.

But City’s Brazilian attacker Jesus made the difference in the end, as a combination of poor finishing and impressive last-ditch defence prevented them from winning more emphatically.

City got out to a fast start, putting Chelsea — who had gone undefeated in all competitions this season — on the back foot, and went near in the first minute when Aymeric Laporte’s header flew wide.

Jesus got the break City deserved to open the score in the 53rd minute as his effort rebounded off Jorginho and caught goalkeeper Edouard Mendy off guard.

The visitors had opportunities to extend their lead. Thiago Silva’s goal-line clearing prevented Jesus a second goal after a brilliant save from Jack Grealish.

“Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play,” Guardiola told the BBC.

“The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It’s like last season. Sergio (Aguero) was injured all year and we won the Premier League.

“It’s a good way to start this fascinating week that we have ahead of us (games against Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool).”

Fernandes miss

Villa had only one win in 45 Premier League meetings against Manchester United, including 33 defeats, before they came at Old Trafford.

United had the upper hand early on, but Villa squandered two excellent chances to grab the lead. Ollie Watkins shot too near to David de Gea, while Matt Targett blasted over from close range.

With two minutes remaining, Hause made no mistake, heading in Douglas Luiz’s corner.

Hause then gave up a penalty in stoppage time after mishandling a cross, but Fernandes, who is usually so accurate from the spot, missed.

For United, it was only his second miss from the penalty spot in 23 attempts.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought Villa’s goal was offside and criticised the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty. United have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions.

“First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking,” he said. “Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.

“It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”

Dean Smith, the manager of Aston Villa, said the victory at Old Trafford will give his players a big boost of confidence.

“Went toe-to-toe with Chelsea, and we came here and went toe-to-toe,” he said. “They probably had a lot more chances than us but they were smaller chances and we had some really big chances and deserved the win.”

Liverpool play Brentford in the late kick-off on Saturday, with the opportunity to go three points clear at the top of the league.

Norwich will be anxious to get off the mark at Everton in the 1400 GMT kick-offs after going five games without a point, while Leicester will be looking to get back on track following two successive defeats.

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